By Spencer Seymour
Alex Zulu, a student at DCVI, is doing his co-op placement at Little Falls Public School with the Grade Two Forest School Group in Kendra Martin’s class and has fit right in with the energy and enthusiasm filled students. Within a day Alex had chosen his new nature name, Polar Bear, and had blended in with the tribe of children all with their own local animal names. The day always begins outdoors with Polar Bear acting as a cheerleader and guiding the kids as they wake up their brains through exercise. As a big brother at home, he knows how to get down to eye level and really talk with kids in a way that makes them feel special. His role is supporting the learning both in and out of the classroom. He often works one-on-one or with a small group of students who need extra focus on developing sight words and fluency in reading or help writing full sentences. He always offers kind words of encouragement, a high five for effort and a big smile which makes the whole class feel valued.
Polar Bear has many unique traits, he is very athletic, charismatic, and is generous sharing his own school experience to help struggling students along the way. The teachers and student have loved having him on Thursdays at our Outdoor School site. These days, they are immersed in nature, experiencing the life cycle of animals, adding plants and trees to our field guides, and heading off to hike the Wildwood trails. His extra set of capable hands to keep the young, rambunctious students safe and happy during a full day outdoors is really important. Polar Bear’s favorite place at the outdoor school is the mud kitchen, where his adoring student fans keep him well fed with mud pies, soil smoothies, and branch tarts. Earlier this week, they planned to make his chocolate cake of worms and dirt to celebrate his birthday. The teachers and students that Alex has been working with would like to offer their best birthday wishes as Alex turned 18 years old this week, and want to thank him for the excellent work he has and will continue to do during his co-op placement.